2010's 'Hammer of the North' saw the band perfecting their brand of epic old-school metal, so I had high hopes for the follow-up. And while I would say this is perhaps just a small step down from the previous album, it is still a very solid piece of work.
The album kicks off with three sure-fire winners in 'Starlight Slaughter', 'Sword of the Ocean' and 'Valhalla Rising', featuring the killer riffs and catchy choruses we've come to expect from the Swedes, topped off with JB's powerful, gin-soaked baritone.
The rest is probably a bit less consistently strong than 'Hammer of the North' was, but there's still plenty to enjoy.
The band now have JB's former Spiritual Beggars bandmate Ludwig Witt on drums, who is a fine skinsman, however I have to mention that the drum sound is not quite right for some reason, too muffled and maybe even too high in the mix; a minor complaint really.
So all in all this is yet another strong entry in the band's very impressive discography, and one that is strongly recommended for all fans of classic rock/metal.